Indian Pulses – 6 Best Essential Staples

Indian Pulses

Pulses are found in every dish from a modest hummus to the classic English morning meal of baked beans. It’s difficult for Indians, especially vegetarians, to envision a lunch without at least one dish featuring traditional Indian pulses. Without jars and packets of overflowing pulses, an Indian kitchen pantry is incomplete. 

Pulses are the dried seeds of legume pods that belong to the legume family. Dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils are the most prevalent varieties of Indian pulses. 

Here are the basic differences between beans, dry peas, lentils, and dals for your convenience:

  • Beans come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including oval and kidney-shaped varieties. Beans need to be soaked before cooking, but lentils do not. 
  • Lentils have a flatter, lens-like appearance. Pigeon peas (toor dal) are a common example of lentils. 
  • Peas are removed from their pods and dried. They’re simpler to spot because of their circular form. 
  • Chickpeas have an angular form. 
  • Dal is the split version of a pulse. 

Indian pulses are nutrient-dense staples that can help you consume a healthy diet. Pulses, which are high in complex carbs and protein, are regarded as one of the most sustainable crops to farm due to their minimal water requirements.

Indian Pulses

Pulses require just 43 gallons of water, compared to 213 gallons and 368 gallons for soybeans and peanuts, respectively, which is far less. The nutritional value and long-term viability of Indian pulses are two reasons that contribute to their appeal. 

There are many varieties of pulses available; below is a list of the 6 most regularly used pulses in India, as well as their nutritional values.

Mung 

Mung beans, also known as moong beans, are tiny, green-colored beans. Mung beans are one of the most well-known Indian pulses, and they are truly indigenous to the country. The beans may be sprouted and eaten whole as a delicious snack. They’re frequently used in salads. Split mung beans are used to produce yellow dals and curries, and they’re a staple in vegetarian Indian cuisine. 

Mung has the following nutritional values: 

  • Vitamins and minerals aplenty. 
  • Essential amino acids, which your body cannot produce on its own, are abundant in this food. 
  • One of the finest plant-based protein sources. Has a high quantity of antioxidants 
  • Reduces cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar levels.

Toor
Indian Pulses

In each Gujarati home, toor is one of the most essential lentils. Yellow pigeon peas, also known as arhar, are widely used in tadka-based curries. Split pigeon peas are a common ingredient in Gujarati dal because they provide a nice blend of sweet, spicy, and sour flavors. 

Toor has the following nutritional values: 

  • It’s high in nutritious carbs, has a lot of fiber, and has a lot of protein. 
  • Iron and calcium-rich 
  • It can help you lose weight by keeping you fuller for longer.

Rajma

Rajma, one of the most famous Indian pulses served with rice and cooked in a tomato-based sauce, is a favorite dish in Indian households. They’re also known as kidney beans, and they’re commonly used in curries and salads

Rajma has the following nutritional values: 

  • Helps prevent diabetes and lowers cholesterol levels because of its high soluble fiber content. 
  • Vitamin thiamine is present, as well as antioxidants. 
  • Prevents muscular aches and pains, as well as migraines.

Chana
Indian Pulses

Garbanzo, chickpea, and Bengal gram are all names for this Indian pulse. This type of pulse may be divided into two categories based on its size. The smaller version, known as desi chana, is a darker bean. The bigger bean, known as Kabuli chana, has white skin and is used in a variety of recipes. 

The following are some of the nutritional benefits of chana: 

  • Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and proteins abound. 
  • Improves digestion and helps with weight loss.

Urad

These black gram beans are similar in size to mung beans and are known as black gram beans. They have an earthy flavor. This form of pulses is used to make dal makhani, an Indian dal that is creamy and flavorful. It’s also used in the preparation of papads, idlis, and dosas. 

Urad has the following nutritional values: 

  • Vitamin B, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium are all abundant in this bean. 
  • Protein, fats, fiber, and carbs are all abundantly present. 
  • Prevents atherosclerosis and is good for pregnant women.

Masoor
Indian Pulses

One of the most common Indian pulses, masoor is a red lentil with an orange interior and a brown exterior. It’s most widespread in eastern India, where it’s used to make dal, soups, and various curries. 

Masoor has the following nutritional value: 

  • It’s high in dietary fiber. 
  • It has a low glycemic index and is suitable for diabetics. 
  • Reduces cholesterol and promotes weight reduction. 
  • It has anti-aging qualities and helps strengthen the immune system. 

These are just a handful of the many different varieties of Indian pulses that may be found in practically every Indian dish in some form.

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